| July 29, 2013

Avoid spending too much on college textbooks

Anyone who has been to college knows that textbooks are one of the biggest expenses students face each semester.

Often, credit cards are used to purchase books, which can potentially be risky. To avoid taking on too much credit card debt, college students should consider the following money-saving tips:

Tip No. 1 – Don't shop at the campus bookstore

Every college campus has a bookstore where students will be told to purchase textbooks. However, this is likely the place where these materials are the most expensive. To save money, avoid the bookstore at all costs. While it provides people with a convenience, shopping online and at other stores in the area can cut down on the overall cost. There might be some specialty materials that need to be bought at the campus store, but any book that can be found elsewhere will likely be cheaper. 

Tip No. 2 – Buy used

The moment college students get their syllabus they should visit websites such as eBay and Amazon to see if they can find any of their textbooks used. Additionally, friends who previously took the class could be a good source for used books. Any book that is used will likely be much less expensive then buying a new one at the campus store. It will be important to keep an eye on the condition though, and students should opt for "like new" or "very good." The best way to find a book is to use the ISBN number so students should be sure to get this from professors. 

Tip No. 3 – Share with a friend in class

If the book can't be found used or at any online outlets, students might be forced to buy new at the campus store. Should this be the case, it might be a good idea to go in with a friend. Instead of spending $100, this allows students to pay $50 each and save some money. By sharing the book, it could force the two to be study partners, which might be also beneficial. 

Tip No. 4 – Check the library first

There is a chance the campus library might have copies of certain textbooks so this would be a good place to check before visiting the store. Even if the actual textbooks aren't there, copies of novels for English courses can be found in the library, which can help students save money. 

April Lewis-Parks has more than 15 years of experience in the financial sector, she is a certified financial counselor, and a consumer affairs advocate. As the director of education and public relations for Consolidated Credit she is dedicated to generating awareness about personal finance issues and acts as their consumer affairs advocate. As host the of MissMoneyBee.com, she promotes financial education and offers timely and informative personal finance articles to educate the public.

April’s promotional efforts can be seen in past issues of the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsday, Consumer Reports, the Business Journals, Money Magazine, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, among others.

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